In Small Spaces by Katherine Arden, young Ollie is having a tough time following the death of her mother, and finds solace in books.
Yet, the eleven-year-old still finds herself surprised when happening upon a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book into the water, she just acts, stealing the book and running away.
She finds within the book a chilling story that she slowly discovers may not be a work of fiction.
But the strange bus driver has some advice for the kids left behind in his care: “Best get moving. At nightfall they’ll come for the rest of you.”
Ollie, already spooked, gets completely freaked out when her previously broken digital wristwatch, a keepsake reminder of better times, begins a startling countdown and delivers a terrifying message: RUN.
This convinces Ollie and two of her classmates to heed the bus driver’s warning, and as they head to a nearby field, the bus driver has just one final piece of advice for Ollie and her friends: “Avoid large places. Keep to small.”
From there the story gets really creepy with living scarecrows, ghosts, alternate time lines, and more as it appears that Ollie may be the only one to save them all.
I really enjoyed this young adult novel. The author does a great job of building tension, and keeping the supernatural plot scary, yet believable.
Though it’s written for young teens, adults who enjoy scares without gore will enjoy Small Spaces, as well. I would give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.
NOTE: This book came out in 2019, but I didn’t get a chance to review it right away. My apologies to the publisher.
Disclaimer: I received a e-book copy for review purposes from NetGalley. I was not compensated in any other way. My opinion is honest, and as always, my own.
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